Planning on travelling to East Africa and not sure where to start? Feeling overwhelmed by the endless attractions and lodging options? You’ve come to the right place!
Many travellers do their research ahead of time (which is very recommended) and seek answers for these common questions: what do I need to know before planning a trip to Africa? what are some common items savvy travellers bring with them? what vaccines are required before travelling? and more.
To help you better prepare and plan your trip, I have selected some of the best tips in my Africa travel guide below.
Planning your itinerary
When it comes to Africa, pre-preparation goes a really long way! More so, it is advisable to plan your itinerary several months in advance. This may seem a daunting task at first, however, bear in mind that Africa’s popularity as a holiday destination, has increased over the years and you need to decide which countries to visit and what attractions you’re interested in, the moment you start thinking about your dream trip.
As there is a huge demand for safari and nature reserves, tickets are sold in advance in order to keep a limited amount of visitors in the reservations, therefore booking in advance is advisable.
In terms of a set budget, one must consider the prices when booking a safari (which usually requires many resources such as a jeep, local guide and more), therefore an admission to a reserve can cost up to $ 100 per ticket. That said, accommodation costs are flexible as there is a wide selection from high-priced luxury lodges to lower-priced standard backpacker dorms.
This is where my team and I come in! The diversity of accommodation in Africa may be overwhelming at times. However, with our in-depth knowledge of reliable lodging options, we will ensure you stay on budget and still enjoy the natural wonders together with an ultimate safari experience.
Vaccinations and Medicines
Stay healthy and don’t let sickness stifle your travel plans to Africa!
As soon as the decision is made to travel, you should visit your local Travel Clinic to receive the advice of physicians regarding the required vaccines for the designated countries you plan on visiting. Some of the vaccines are given in series, from several days to weeks apart.
In general, it is recommended to bring with you familiar medical, hygiene and care products from your home country such as: mosquito repellent (although specifically this item may also be purchased during your trip).
Sunscreen lotion with a high factor is recommended as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are on the equator, and in these regions, the blazing sun may be particularly intense.
Moreover, it is essential to pack a travel first aid kit which should always be in reach and contain the following items: painkiller pills, throat tablets, eye drops, lip balm, vitamin C powder, antibiotic ointments and aloe vera.
Travel Light and Dress Well for your African Adventure
Deciding what to wear on an African safari is easier said than done! The best piece of advice is to dress in layers for all activities. An African safari includes some occasional hiking but mostly driving in a jeep. It is recommended to wear long pants, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a comfortable t-shirt, long sleeves shirt and sweater or top.
If you’re travelling to Zanzibar, the most practical items you can pack are comfortable day wear: shorts, t-shirts, sandals, flip flops, sun hat, sunglasses and of course a bathing suit.
On the beach look out for sea urchins – take dive shoes or sandals to protect your feet in the water.
Travellers who plan on climbing mountains in Kenya or Tanzania should be properly equipped with warm clothing, because as you get closer to the snowy peaks – the temperature drops. Remember to limit the weight of your bag and its content and bear in mind that there is no need to bring camping gear.
If you are interested in climbing, click here for more details.
Indulge your taste buds with local African cuisine as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda boast a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables which will elevate your culinary experience. There is something for everyone from exotic bananas, root vegetables, unique legumes… to the best, high-quality, fresh roasted coffee you’ll ever taste!
African cooking will cater to vegetarians, carnivores, omnivores and everything in between.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please indicate, and I will be happy to assist.
Personal Hygiene Products and Travel Gadgets
Most of the essential toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap can be purchased during your trip; however, feel free to pack those toiletries you can’t live without. When packing, don’t forget to consider the Airport Authority restrictions regarding liquids and other products which you may/may not carry in your travel bag.
As for electronic travel gadgets, mobile and camera chargers, East African countries use a G-type socket 230v and 240v. Check your destination’s socket type and make sure you have an adequate electrical adapter.
Currency in East Africa
The local currency is the East African shilling, and each has its shilling currency, meaning: The Kenyan Shilling, Ugandan shilling etc. Alternatively, dollars can also be used, and both are considered acceptable.
Before your arrival, make sure you convert your money into local currency or dollars. My recommendation is that you have both currencies, at least for the beginning of the trip.
Disposable plastic is a massive threat to plants and wildlife. Fortunately, East African countries have banned the use of plastic bags in most of the countries and specifically in the game reserves. Canvas bags are allowed for use.
Do you have any other questions or concerns?
Please feel free to contact me for any enquiries concerning your trip.